I don’t think I’ve ever bought a bunch of bananas and finished them all before a couple got too ripe. So anytime I buy bananas, I’m also buying for the baked goods I’ll end up making with the dark brown ones. In this recipe, I’ve cut down on the usual amount of sugar (the chocolate chips add a lot of sweetness on their own), and halved the butter, substituting in applesauce instead. You’ll notice that this recipe includes cinnamon and nutmeg–you won’t really taste those spices individually in the baked muffin, but they add a lot of depth to the flavor of the banana. Here is my go-to recipe (loosely adapted from this Food Network one) for delicious, healthier muffins using those too-ripe bananas:
- 1.5 cups flour
- 1/3 cup sugar
- 1.5 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 – 1 teaspoon nutmeg (based on your taste)
- 1/2 – 1 teaspoon cinnamon (based on your taste)
- 3/4 – 1 cup chocolate chips (based on your taste)
- 2 mashed very ripe bananas
- 1 egg
- 4 tablespoons melted butter
- 4 tablespoons natural, no sugar added applesauce
- 1/4 cup skim milk
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a large bowl, mix the flour, sugar, baking powder, salt, nutmeg, and cinnamon. Add chocolate chips (yes, it’s weird to add the chocolate chips to the dry mixture but it will prevent over mixing if you do it now rather than at the end). In a separate bowl, mix well the bananas, egg, butter, applesauce, and milk.
Make a well in the flour/chip mixture and pour the wet ingredients into the center. Mix until the entire batter is just moistened, but don’t over mix (over mixing does something funky with the gluten in the batter and you can end up with a tough muffin instead of a soft and springy one). Divide the batter among a 12 cup muffin tin (you can spray with Pam or use paper liners), filling all the way to the top.
How long you bake the muffins depends on your taste. I hate dried-out baked goods, so I always under bake, because the muffins will continue to cook a bit as it sits on the counter cooling. 20 minutes is the perfect time (in my oven) for moist, soft muffins, but you could bake up to 24 minutes if you prefer. Transfer the muffin tin to a cooling rack for 15 minutes, then remove muffins from tin and let them cool completely on the rack.
This is a recipe that does well with “playing”–experiment if you’re so inclined–add nuts, try whole wheat flour, use allspice instead of cinnamon or nutmeg, replace even more of the butter with applesauce for a lower-fat version. Enjoy!